News

Actions

Landslide forces couple out of their dream house

Posted: 5:38 PM, May 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-03 18:12:10-04
Landslide forces couple out of their dream house
Landslide forces couple out of their dream house
Landslide forces couple out of their dream house

SWITZERLAND COUNTY, Ind. -  Ed Brush calls it "our Katrina."

Brush and his wife have had to abandon the dream home they built 10 years ago because of a sudden landslide that shows no signs of stopping.

And it didn't have to happen, they say. They blame it on the county.

SEE a photo gallery here and watch the Brushes' YouTube video.

Melissa remembers her parents buying the land here years ago.

"As a little girl, I would climb up this hill that seemed like a mountain to me and would say. 'This is where I'm going to have my house some day.'"

Melissa and Ed built a house next to her parents'. It was perfect until what looked like mole holes began appearing last month.

Then the hillside started sliding away, Ed said.

Two inches, then 4, and the successive rains dropped it a foot. Now it's more than 4 feet.

"What's the worst thing you could do to somebody? I think this is pretty close," Ed said.

The Brushes blame Switzerland County for the problem -- dumping rocks onto a creek bank to stabilize Evans Hill Road.

A geotechnical engineer told them that changed everything

"This rock became dislodged, changing the course of the creek. Eroding caused the landslide and now it's potentially unsafe, life threatening and we have to get out of the house,"  Ed said.

Ed Brush has watched his hillside slide away.

They're living  with Melissa's parents, but they still paying a mortgage.

"It was our Katrina. It was actually worse because if it was a natural disaster, I could get some financial assistance and get on with my life," Ed said.

"The emotional side of it has ben draining," said  Melissa. "None of us know what to expect or what our future is."

 "This wasn't an act of God," said Ed. "This was an act of county."

Will Goering, the attorney for Switzerland County, said the county is trying to find out exactly what caused this situation.